Domestic violence may cause physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse to the children in the midst of the violence.
First and foremost, children in families experiencing domestic violence may be badly beaten and physically injured. Distress and/or traumatic stress are the most common sign portrayed by children whose families are experiencing domestic violence (Harwin, Pearson, & Hester, 2000). Other effects of domestic violence on children will mainly depend on the age and gender of the children involved.For instance, young children may develop anxiety, difficulty in sleeping and wetting of bed. On the other hand, older children, particularly boys may outwardly display their distress by developing aggressive behavior coupled with disobedience. Older boys in school may be engaged in drug and alcohol use in an attempt to kill distress (Harwin, Pearson, & Hester, 2000).
Girls show signs of anxiety, withdrawal from other people or diminished socialization and depression.In addition, girls may try to harm themselves using various methods such as drug overdose (Sudermann, Jaffe, & Geffner, 2000). Children who witness family violence usually perform poorly in school with some scoring poor grades or failing. Some may even drop out of school.
Post-traumatic disorder symptoms such as flashbacks and regular nightmares are common in children hit by family violence, a factor which may make them appear startled or confused.Domestic violence may have long-term effects on both girls and boys when they become adults. Boys may copy violent behavior from their father or girls copy violent behavior from their mother and extent it against their partners in their future relationships, a factor which may hinder their future life. However, some children may learn lessons from the domestic violence in their families and decide to avoid such scenarios in their future life.All in all, domestic violence is devastating to all the involved parties and should be avoided at all costs. Amicable solution to problems arising in families should be established to ensure harmonious coexistence.
References Harwin, N. , Pearson, C. , & Hester M. (2000). Making an Impact: Children and Domestic Violence: A Reader. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Sudermann, M.
, Jaffe, P. , & Geffner, R. (2000). Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Current Issues in Research. New York: Routledge.